Brief Therapy Assumptions and Assessment

For the client

*How will we know when it,s time for you to leave therapy, when we,ve been successful? [Ask for a video description or get a scaling estimate.

*What happened that gave you or whoever thought you should be here the idea that therapy would be the best place to sort out the difficulty (difficulties)?

*After you finish coming here, what kind of changes do you think you,ll make in your life?

*What,s the first sign you,ll be able to notice that therapy had been helpful to you?

*What,s the first sign others will be able to see when you start to (feel better; get better; feel more hopeful; really know you want to live; etc.)?

*If you,ve experienced a similar difficulty before, how,d you deal with it?

*How about one of the times when the difficulty started to devel-op, but you stopped it before it went too far?

[If they don,t report any positive coping experience, reply, “So you can’t remember any time like that right now.]

*What was the high point of the last year for you?

*Can you remember a time recently when you pleasantly surprised yourself or did something out of character that pleased you?

*What medications or therapy approaches have worked best for you, if any?

*What hobbies or interests do you have or have you had in the past? What was interesting or valuable about those activities?

*What kind of work do you do or have you done?

*(For adolescent) What was/is your favorite subject or class in school? Why?

*(For reports of previously overcome problems) You told me you used to use drugs or alcohol and then stopped. How did you do that? or You told me you were suicidal last fall. How did you get through that time without harming yourself or doing yourself in?

For the referral source/family member

*What gives you the idea that the person needs to be in treatment?

*Who has been most upset or vocal about the client,s behavior?

*How will you know that treatment has been successful and that I have done a good job? [Get a video description.]

*What has been the most pleasantly surprising thing you,ve seen or heard from or about the client recently?

*What would you like me to do to keep you informed on the client,s progress or to keep getting your input?


Drugs & Conditions